Acer is upgrading the Triton, Helios and Nitro ranges, and they look amazing
We’ve been hands-on with all of the outgoing versions of the updated range, and we have been impressed with each and every one of them. Whether it’s the stunning design of the Helios 300, the great value performance of the Nitro 5, or the amazing price to performance ratio of the Triton 300, they are already great laptops in their own right. Needless to say, when I heard they were being updated to include the latest 11th Gen Intel CPUs and RTX 30-series GPUs, my hype level went through the roof.
For anyone looking for a new laptop, 2021 is shaping up to be a fantastic time to make your purchase. All of these laptops will be available from March this year – full pricing and release dates are listed at the end of this article.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE
One of my favourite laptops of 2020 was the Triton 300 we reviewed with RTX 2070 graphics – a potent pairing that came in at a very affordable price. The Triton 300 is Acer Predator’s best-selling gaming laptop and, having used it for several weeks last year, it was clear why.
- 11th Gen i7 H35 SE processor
- RTX 3060
- 3-zone RGB keyboard backlight
- Killer WiFi 6 AX1650
- 14″ 144Hz display
- 10 hour battery life
- 17.9mm (0.7″) slimline chassis
The all-new Special Edition version of the Triton 300 has been upgraded to include 11th Gen Intel® Core i7 H35-series Special Edition processor that reaches up to 5 GHz, and RTX 3060 graphics. It’s not yet known how this will stack up against the RTX 2070 from before, but to be honest, even if it only achieves parity with the old Triton 300, the improved ray-tracing capabilities of the 30 series RTX cards will make this a worthwhile upgrade.
One of the only negative things I had to say about the Triton 300 was the concerning levels of heat build up (which I negated by putting £1 coins under each rubber foot to raise the laptop off the desk). The Triton 300 SE will have Acer’s new 5th Gen AeroBlade fans, which are vaunted to have a 10% performance increase over the previous model.
At first, I was surprised that Acer had opted for the RTX 3060 over the RTX 3070, but the new Triton now has a 14″ 144Hz screen, making it considerably smaller than before. This puts the Triton 300 in competition with the likes of the ASUS Zephyrus G14, which makes this an attractive proposition and a proper contender for the best 14″ laptop.
Priced starting at just £1399, the Triton 300 SE is packing amazing performance, and while we have yet to see all of the 14″ gaming laptops due this year, this is already looking like being up there with the best when it comes to price and performance.
Acer Predator Helios 300
While the Triton 300 SE is all about slimming down, the Helios 300 is ramping things up to the max. The update is bringing the RTX 3080 to the Helios 300, along with up to 32 Gb of DDR4 memory. We don’t yet know whether the CPU is being updated with the 11th Gen Intel CPU, however, the i7-10750H used in the previous model was and is a very capable CPU, so we aren’t overly concerned.
On the display side, the Helios 300 will have a 240Hz IPS display, which the RTX 3080 should have no problems pushing to its limit. Acer’s AeroBlade 3D fans are on cooling duty once again, and DTS:X Ultra is included for your audible pleasure.
I love the styling of the Helios 300, and the screen and keyboard are both excellent. Even if the only difference is a bump up to the RTX 3080 (or RTX 30 series in general), it’s still going to be a great machine, and it’s one that I have definitely got my eye on.
Prices are quoted as starting at £1299, but I’d expect the RTX 3080 version to be quite a bit more than that very modest entry price.
Acer Nitro 5 (15″ and 17″)
Acer’s Nitro 5 laptops are all about making affordable but powerful gaming machines. The Nitro 5 we reviewed had amazing gaming credentials, and the only weakness was a slightly below-par display and low-capacity SSD. The gaming performance was so good, though, that if you were willing to overlook the slightly under-saturated display, you won’t find many laptops that can perform as well for under £1000.
The refreshed Nitro 5 has been updated to include the new 11th Gen H35-series processors, which is a considerable step up from the 9th gen i7 we reviewed. Acer states the new Intel processor is being combined with Nvidia GTX graphics, which implies that the max spec is likely to be the GTX GTX 1660 Ti, and not the RTX 2060 of the outgoing model or even the new RTX 3060 (though keeping the price down is sure to be a key factor here). The GTX 1660 Ti is still a decent GPU though, especially for 1080p. While some may lament the loss of RTX, ray-tracing on the 20-series came at such a hit to performance it’s no great loss.
The Nitro 5 has had a design facelift, too, and I’m loving the new look. 4-zone RGB replaces the basic red backlight, and the power connector has been moved to the rear of the PC, which is much better in my opinion. It still has the same basic shape as before, but the accent panel has been shifted round the back. For an entry-level machine, it still looks clean and appealing.
The Nitro 5 once again looks ready to raise the bar of what is achievable on a limited budget, with the 15″ starting at just £749, and the 17″ at £849.
Pricing and Availability
The Predator Triton 300 SE (PT314-51s) will be available in North America in March starting at USD 1,399.99; and in EMEA in February starting at EUR 1,499 and UK 1399 GBP.
The Predator Helios 300 (PH315-53) will be available in North America in February starting at USD 1,249.99; in EMEA in February starting at EUR 1,499 and UK 1299 GBP.
The 15-inch Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-56) will be available in EMEA in March starting at EUR 999 and UK from 749 GBP.
The 17-inch Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-53) will be available in EMEA in March starting at EUR 999 and UK from 849 GBP.
Exact specifications, prices, and availability will vary by region. To learn more about availability, product specifications and prices in specific markets, please contact your nearest Acer office via www.acer.com.